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Aligarh ( , , ) is a city in Aligarh Districtmarker in the northern Indianmarker state of Uttar Pradeshmarker. The city is located about 90 miles southeast of New Delhimarker. It is the administrative headquarters of Aligarh Districtmarker, Aligarh Police Range and Aligarh Division, and has a population of half a million. It is mostly known as a university town where the famous Aligarh Muslim University is located. The Aligarh division includes Aligarh, Etahmarker, Hathrasmarker and Kanshi Ram Nagarmarker districts.

History

Aligarh was known by the earlier name of Kolmarker or Koil before the 18th century. The name Kol covered not only the city but the entire district, though its geographical limits kept changing from time to time. The origin of the name is obscure. In some ancient texts, Kol has been referred to in the sense of a tribe or caste, name of a place or mountain and name of a sage or demon. From the study of the place-names of the district, it appears that the district was once fairly well covered by forest, thickets and groves. The early history of the district, through the 12th century AD is obscure. According to Edwin T. Atkinson, the name Kol was given to the city by Balarama, who slew here the great Asura (demon) Kol and with the assistance of the Ahirs subdued this part of the Doab. In another account, Atkinson points out a "legend" that Kol was founded by the Dor tribe of Rajputs in 372 AD. This could be further confirmed by an old fort, the Dor fortress, now in ruins, which lies at the city's centre.

Some time before the Muslim invasion, Kol was held by the Dor Rajputs and in the time of Mahmud of Ghazni the chief of the Dors was Hardatta of Baran. There is reason to believe that Kol was once the seat of a Buddhist community as statues of Buddha and other Buddhist remains have been found in excavations made in the eminence on which the citadel of Koil stood. It also had Hindu remains indicating that in all probability the citadel contained in succession a Buddhist and a Hindu temple.

In 1194 AD, Qutb-ud-din Aybak marched from Delhi to Koil which was "one of the most celebrated fortresses of Hind". Qutb-ud-din Aybak appointed Hisam-ud-din Ulbak as the first Muslim governor of Koil.

Koil is also mentioned in Ibn Battuta's Rihla, when Ibn Battuta along with 15 ambassadors representing Ukhaantu Khan, the Mongol Emperor of the Yuan dynasty in China, traveled to Koil city en route to the coast at Cambaymarker (in Gujarat) in 1341. According to Ibn Battuta, it would appear that the district was then in a very disturbed state since the escort of the Emperor's embassy had to assist in relieving Jalalimarker from an attacking body of Hindus and lost one of their officers in the fight. Ibn Batuta calls Koil "a fine town surrounded by mango groves". From these same groves the environs of Koil would appear to have acquired the name of Sabzabad or "the green country".

In the reign of Akbar, Koil was made a Sirkar and included the dasturs of Marahra, Kol ba Haveli, Thana Farida and Akbarabad. Both Akbar and Jahangir visited Kol on hunting expeditions. Jahangir clearly mentions the forest of Kol, where he killed wolves.

During the time of Ibrahim Lodhi, Muhammad, son of Umar was the governor of Kol, built a fort at Kol and named the city after his own name as Muhammadgarh in 1524-25; and Sabit Khan who was the governor of this region during the time of Farrukh Siyar and Muhammad Shah, rebuilt the old Lodi fort and named the town after his own name Sabitgarh.The ruler of Koil was Bargujar King Rao Bahadur Singh whose ancestors ruled it from AD 1184 after the marriage of Raja of Koil Ajit Singh's daughter to Raja Pratp Singh Bargujar. In early 1753, the Bargujar Chief rose against the destruction of Hindu temples. The Jat ruler Surajmal in 1753, with patronage from Jai Singh of Jaipur and the Muslim army occupied the fort of Koil, the Bargujar Raja Bahadur Singh continued the battle from another fort under them and died fighting in what is known as the "Battle of Ghasera". All the women committed Jauhar.It was re-named Ramgarh and finally, when a Shia commander, Najaf Khan, captured Kol, he gave it its present name of Aligarh. Aligarh Fort (also called Aligarh Qila), as it stands today, was built by French engineers under the control of Frenchmarker officers Benoît de Boigne and Perron.

Battle of Ally Ghur (1803)

The Battle of Ally Ghur was fought on September 1, 1803 during the Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805) at Aligarh Fort. The British 76th Regiment, now known as the Duke of Wellington's Regiment laid siege of the fort which was under first-rate Frenchmarker officer Perron and established British rule after overtaking the fort. In 1804, the Aligarh district was formed by the union of the second, third and fourth British divisions with the addition of Anupshahr from Moradabad and Sikandra Rao from Etawa. On the August 1, 1804, Mr Claude Russell was appointed the first Collector of the new district.

Establishment of Aligarh Muslim University (1875)

In 1875, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan founded the Muhammadan Anglo Oriental College in Aligarh and patterned the college after Oxfordmarker and Cambridgemarker universities that he had visited on a trip to Englandmarker. This later became Aligarh Muslim University in 1920.

Geography

Aligarh is located at . It has an average elevation of 178 metres (587 feet). The city is situated in the middle portion of Doab, or the land between the Gangesmarker and Yamunamarker Rivers. The Grand Trunk Road passes through the city.

Climate

The city is hot and dry. The coldest months of the year here are in December and January, when the mean temperature ranges between 15 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius. The hottest months of the year are in May and June when the mean temperature lies between 35 degrees Celsius and 40 degrees Celsius, in the shade.

Demographics

As of the census of 2001,Aligarh had a population of 667,732. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Aligarh has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 65.4%; with 79% of the males and 61% of females literate. 16% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Languages spoken

The main languages spoken in Aligarh are Hindi, English and Urdu. This is because the state Uttar Pradeshmarker is a core of Hindi-Heartland.

The most spoken dialect of Hindi in Aligarh is Hindustani. Hindi is used more in the administrative fields. Today, Hindustani is also divided into two forms. Hindustani that is written in Devanagiri script is referred to as Hindi while Hindustani written in Nastaliq script is referred to as Urdu. To date, Uttar Pradesh is proud of the many poets, and laureates it has produced, both in Hindi and Urdu.

Another popular language spoken in Aligarh is Brij Bhasha. This is the dialect that is spoken mainly by the rural population in Braj.

Industry

Aligarh City is famous as an industrial city. It is also known as Taala Nagari (Locks City of India). The second Largest Lock Manufacturer of Locks in India Link Locks is based in the City. An approximation puts the total number of industries at 25,000 which constitute of both Small scale & Large Scale Industries. Aligarh is having a boom in the construction business at this point of time, many new multi level buildings, shopping complexes and apartments have come up. Many malls are recently being constructed by major developers from Delhi & Aligarh. Malls in Aligarh include Great Shopping Mall at Ramghat Road, Many more are under construction like The Landmark Mall at Marris Road, Sharda Mall at Center Point, Ozone Mall at Ring Road, Great Value Mall at Ramghat Road.

Aligarh is also having showrooms of several internationally known clothing and sports brands such as Adidas, Reebok, Killer, LEE, Wrangler, Peter England, Cotton County, Koutons and many more.

UPSIDC has developed Taala Nagri Industrial Area at Ramghat Road.

Aligarh is having three Industrial Areas like Industrial Estate, Pala Road, Taala Nagari and Ahlampur Industrial Area has been proposed by UPSIDC at Delhi G.T Road.

Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd. already has assured unrestricted power at Taala Nagari.

Aligarh is the amongst the largest manufacturer and supplier of Locks and Hardware goods in India and is also one of the largest manufacturer of Brass Fittings in whole World. Aligarh is also a manufacturer of Plastic and Iron Toy Pistols, Handcuffs, School Tie Belts, Badges for Schools and Government Supply. Aligarh is also having Industries of Art ware, Sculpture Products which are supplied all over the World. Aligarh is having number of exporters out of which about 200 Units are 100% Export Units which export their products almost all over the World. The Brass market of Aligarh is one of the largest, it employs lakhs of skilled labors. About 100 Tonnes of the Brass and 50 Tonnes of Zinc are processed here everyday. In addition to Brass, Aligarh manufactures Iron, Aluminum, Bronze, and Zinc products as well.

Aligarh is also a bulk producer of Zinc Die cast Parts by hot chamber die casting process, but the product quality is not so good. These products are consumed in low end domestic market. Consumption of Zinc alloy in Aligarh is more than the consumption of zinc alloy in rest of India. Aligarh uses locally made old technology pneumatic hot chamber die casting machines which are incapable of giving consistent international quality. Few die casters have installed imported machines but quantity of such machines are very less. Made in Aligarh Zinc die cast parts can get broken after 2 to 4 years as Aligarh uses recycled zinc alloy, which contains lot of impurities, specially lead. There is one very old company of India fame at Sasni Gate, Agra Road named Indian Die casting Industries which is equipped with latest technology die casting & tooling machines and manufactures high quality die cast parts in Aluminium and zinc for OEMs and exports. This company is famous for high precision and quality not only in Aligarh but throughout India.

Aligarh is also having some Automobile Parts Industries which supply their products in India and fractions of it abroad as well. Aligarh is having four Fruit Ripening Plants which ripens/ preserves Fruits, Dry Fruits, Vegetables, etc.

Economics

The city is an agricultural trade centre. The processing of agricultural products and manufacturing are also important.

Aligarh has always been an important business centre of Uttar Pradesh which is most famous for its locks industry. The locks that are produced in Aligarh are exported to different parts of the world. In 1870, Johnson & Co. was the first Englishmarker locks firm to be set up in Aligarh. In 1890, Johnson & Co. initiated the manual production of locks on a small scale here.

Being a railroad junction, Aligarh has developed into a commercial centre of an agricultural region which produces wheat, sugarcane, cotton, corn, barley, potato, guava and millet. In addition to the lock industry, the other industries of Aligarh include flour milling, processing of raw cotton and manufacture of butter, thermometer and glass.

Aligarh is also famous for its brass hardware and sculptures. Today, the city holds thousands of manufacturers, exporters and suppliers involved in the brass, bronze, iron and aluminium industries.

There is a thermal power station 15 km away from the city. It is called Harduaganj Thermal Power Station (also referred as Kasimpur Power House). A nuclear power station, Narora Atomic Power Station is located 50 km away from Aligarh.

Despite its proximity to two large power stations, frequent power cuts are normal in Aligarh. They are not just frequent but more than enough to creat havoc. Now the situation is like that people are trying to generate their own power using generators and invertors. It is not uncommon in the summers to have 10 hours or more of power cuts every day.Aligarh also boasts of a Heinz-sauce manufacturing unit in Manzurgarhi (around 15 km from Aligarh).Aligarh is also popular for its sugar factory, Satha sugar factory is just 12 km far from the centre of city. Satha sugar factory is located at Aligarh Kasimpur route. On this route one Cement factory is also on its way.

Education

Entrance Gate to AMU[BAB-E-SAYYAD
]
Maulana Azad Library-one of the largest collection holder in Asia
Strachey Hall & SS Mosque


Aligarh is a city of Uttar Pradesh that is held in high esteem for the educational facilities offered here. The Aligarh Muslim University, a residential academic institution having an international repute, is found spread across the city civil lines area.

There are more than 250 courses offered in the Aligarh Muslim University in both traditional and modern fields of education. Aligarh Muslim University was built following the pattern of Cambridge and Oxford in 1920.Mangalayatan University, founded by the renowned philanthropist, social worker and journalist Pawan Jain, is also set up in Aligarh.

Other famous schools/ colleges/ institutes of Aligarh are:
  1. Our Lady of Fatima Secondary Schoolmarker
  2. A.M.U City High School[54314]
  3. Delhi Public School
  4. St. Fidelis
  5. Gagan Public Senior Secondary School
  6. Krishna International School
  7. Blue Bird Senior Secondary School
  8. Al-Barkaat Public School (10+2)
  9. Aligarh Public School
  10. Moonup Infotech, Aligarh
  11. Heritage International School (Tala Nagari & Premier Nagar)
  12. Three Dots
  13. Raghuveer Bal Mandir
  14. Ingraham Institute
  15. D.S. Degree College
  16. T.R. Girls College
  17. Indian Institute Of Medical Representative (Iimr)
  18. Institute Of Information Management Technology (Iimt)
  19. Shivadan Singh Institute of Technology and Management (SSITM)
  20. Aligarh College Of Engineering & Technology (Acet)
  21. Aligarh College Of Engineering And Management (Acem)
  22. S.T.High School (Minto Circle)
  23. Taameer-E-Millat Islamia School, Dodhpur
  24. Albarkat Institute Of Management (Anoop Shehar Road)
  25. Zakir Hussain Sr Sec School
  26. Saraswati Vidhya Mandir, Mathura Road, Asana Ajeetpur Aligarh.
  27. H.B. Inter College
  28. Babu Lal Jain Inter College, Jain Puri
  29. Sri Sai Ayurvedic College
  30. Iqra Public School
  31. Naurangi Lal Govt. Inter College
  32. Jagdish Bal Mandir, Rajendra Nagar
  33. Neel Giri Inter College, Agra Road
  34. Dazzling Public School, R. K. Puram, Agra Road & Gabhana, Aligarh-Delhi Highway.
  35. Mangalaaytan University, Aligarh Mathura Road and many more....
  36. Vishwa Bharti Public School Sasni Gate Aligarh
  37. Dayanand saraswati vidhya mandir kasimpur Aligarh
  38. Eurokid's Aligarh C-7,Vikram colony ramghat road,Aligarh.M-9837790878


Important places

A church in Naqvi Park, a lesser known part of Aligarh.
A church in Naqvi Park, a lesser known part of Aligarh.
There are two popular landmarks in Aligarh. One is Aligarh fort and another is Sir Syed Masjid in Aligarh Muslim University's campus. Another old fort, the Dor fortress (1524), now in ruins, lies at the city's centre; its site is located in the area now called Upper Kot and is occupied by an 18th-century mosque. The city also contains tombs of Muslim saints.

Aligarh is having One very Renowned Dargah at Kath Pula. One famous Jainism Teerth Dhaam "Mangalayatan Teerth Dhaam" has been built at Agra Road.

One 200 years old extremely beautiful Jain Temple having Fresco Painted Ceilings is there behind Khirni Gate Police Chowky at Agra Road in Main City.

Aligarh is also famous for its kachauri, sweets and namkeens.

The Annual Cultural Exhibition, popularly known as numaish, held at the Exhibition ground is held in January and February. Aligarh is also famous for Sherwanis, especially the legendary Mehndi Hasan's shop where former Prime Minister of India,Pandit Nehru has asked his sherwani made at this very shop.

Markets

Some of the more famous markets of Aligarh include the Center Point Market, Railway Road market, Shamshad market, Mahavir Gsnj, Upper Fort (known as Uppar Kot), and Amir Nisha. Center Point Market is the best place for shopping for brand freaks. All major brand outlets are in the vicinity of this market. Railway Road and Amir Nisha markets are the major shopping hubs with a variety of clothes, cosmetics, jewellery and footwear being sold. Shamshad market is noted for its educational book stores. Mahavir Ganj is mostly famous for grocery items like Ghee, spices, dry fruits, pulses, etc.

Most markets in Aligarh are made up of many small shops and markets can get very crowded during daytime because the Roads are very Narrow. Cars and Cycle rickshaws often clog up streets leading to traffic jams that can last well more than half an hour or so.

Cineplexes

Aligarh has many movie theatres such as Grand Surjit, Vadra Big Cinemas (Adlabs), Meenakshi (only cinema having pure Dolby Digital Sounds), Nandan, Lakshmi, Nishat and Tasveer Mahal (having largest screen in city).

Important residential places

The city is divided into two areas known as Old Aligarh (City) and New Aligarh (Civil Lines).

New Aligarh

It consists of Tayyab colony, Lal Diggi Road, Anwarul Huda Compound, Amir Nisha, Azim Compound, Zakaria Market, Dhorra Mafi, Sir Syed Nagar, Friends Colony, Jamalpur,Hamdard Nagar B,Badar Bagh, Habib Bagh, Bhamola, Zohrabagh, Dodhpur, Shabitan Compound, Jeevangarh, Kela Nagar, Firdaus Nagar, Janakpuri, Professor Colony, Prag Sarover, Gyan sarover, Maan sarover, Avantika-1 and 2, Quarsi, Swarna Jayanti Nagar, Shyam Nagar, Medical Colony, Lekhraj Nagar, Ramesh Vihar Colony, Durga Badi, Marris Road, Vidhya Nagar, Ram Krishna Puram, Sasni Gate, Delhi GT Road and many more new colonies are developed by Aligarh Development Authority.

Old Aligarh

Kishanpur,Bhamola,Rasalgunj or Russellganj (named after Mr Claude Russell, the first Collector of Aligarh district), Nai Basti, Avas Vikas Colony,Sarai Hakeem, Manik Chowk, Delhi Gate, Gular Road, Anona House, Pahasu House, Sasni Gate, Mahavir Ganj, Railway Road, Saray kawa,Babri Mandi, Mitha Kuan, Jaiganj,Pathan Mohallah(Afghanan),Kala Mahal,Ghaski Mandi,sarai kalay khan,Qazi Pada,sarai bibi,Upper Kot, Farsh Manzil (also known as Farsh), Usman Para, Tantan Para, Jama masjid, Gambhir Pura, Mahendra Nagar, Bank Colony (Premier Nagar), Gandhi Nagar, Saray Sultani, Achal Talab, Khirni Gate, Janak Puri and Vikram Colony are some of the residential areas in old Aligarh.

Aligarh also has a famous residential address called Chase Compound. What is interesting about Chase Compound is that it is on a road called "Jail Road". The road has the district jail on it. While some people call the address a minor coincidence, others (and sometimes in high mirth) believe that this was the area when the police used to chase detainees who had escaped from the Jail.

Old Aligarh has also been infamous in past for communal riots, although in recent decade communal harmony has prevailed in the city.

Media

Aligarh currently has 2 FM Radio stations:

World famous Qawwal Habib Painter is from Old City of Aligarh, Many popular Bollywood artists are from Aligarh. Some of them are Chandra Choor Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Faheem uddin, Naseeruddin Shah, Ravindra Jain, Javed Akhtar etc. Kaka Hathrasi was also from Aligarh (Hathras, now Distt. Maha Maya Nagar was earlier Sub District of Aligarh). The website dedicated to the Aligarh is http://www.aligarh.com/,new web http://www.aligarh.50webs.com.

Transport

Aligarh is well connected to the other cities. India's Longest Road, G.T Road passes through Aligarh. The nearest airport is the Indira Gandhi International airport which is about 160 km away. By road, Aligarh is well-connected to Delhi, NOIDA, Greater Noida, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Agra, Mathura, Meerut, etc. A large number of people commute to Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Gurgaon every day for work. Two national highway (NH-91, NH-93) pass through Aligarh. An expressway from Delhi to Agra called Yamuna Expressway is under development which passes through Aligarh.

There are 2 main bus terminals Masoodabad Bus Terminal and Gandhi Park Bus Terminal from where Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) buses serve cities all over the U.P and many other states like Uttranchal, Rajasthan, M.P and Haryan. Aligarh has Junction Railway Station called Aligarh Junction. It connects Aligarh to the West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, North East, almost All U.P, etc. Junction runs about 70 daily Mail/ Express/ E.M.U Trains.

City Buses, Tempos and Rickshaw are the convenient option to commute within the city.

An International Airport of Delhi has been approved by the Government in Jewar which also comes in Aligarh's District Range and far away about 70 km by road. The Metro Rail Project has been passed and by 2014 it will be running in the city of Aligarh. Many new projects have already been passed like Inner Ring Road, Outer Ring Road by Central Government and construction of new flyover. An airport has also been approved by the Government.

Nut Shell

  • Aligarh is famous for its Locks and Hardware Business and supplies all over the World.
  • Aligarh is also known as the Locks City of India.
  • Aligarh is also having Industries of Art ware, Sculpture Products.
  • Aligarh is very close to New Delhi that's why it is having Growth in all Sectors.
  • Aligarh is known for its famous Sweets, Types of Ghazak, Namkeens and Chat.
  • Historic 'Exhibition' is famous for Kashmiri Woolen Clothes. Exhibition is also famous for its favourite dish Halwa Parantha, Khajala, Some Rides, etc.
  • Peeyush Chawla is the first person to play International Cricket from Aligarh.


References

  1. History of Aligarh
  2. DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ALIGARH DISTRICT By EDWIN T. ATKINSON, page 484
  3. The Adventures of Ibn Battuta, by Ross E. Dunn, p. 215
  4. DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ALIGARH DISTRICT By EDWIN T. ATKINSON, p. 487
  5. DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ALIGARH DISTRICT By EDWIN T. ATKINSON, p. 488
  6. DESCRIPTIVE AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE ALIGARH DISTRICT By EDWIN T. ATKINSON, p. 348
  7. Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Aligarh
  8. Census of India 2001
  9. India9.com
  10. Britannica
  11. Times of India
  12. Mangalayatan University
  13. DPS Aligarh
  14. Britannica India, by Dale Hoiberg, Indu Ramchandani


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